The Stone House, A Blues Legend
The Stone House, A Blues Legend by James V. Hatch and Suzanne Noguere (The Hatch-Billops Collection Inc., New York, NY, 2000) is a deluxe art edition of 400 copies measuring 9.25x12.25" and featuring seven full-page full-color illustrations and numerous line drawings by Camille Billops. It was designed by Roméo Enriquez and printed at The Stinehour Press in Lunenberg, Vermont. 160 pages, slipcased.
"There is a child-like wonder that infects this book, an ear that hears what is rarely heard. It is a fabulous quest book, in which a young girl makes a pilgrimage through an imaginary magical world in pursuit of the blues and her dream of writing a poem. I think it’s destined to join Alice’s Adventures as an enduring classic. This astonishing little masterpiece is the collaboration of James V. Hatch and Suzanne Noguere. Spectacularly illustrated by Camille Billops."
"It is a beautiful book in all respects. The story is amazing in its ability to range from laugh-out-loud funny to get-goosebumps eerie. It has an archetypal, fairytale feel: the twelve labors, the quest, the Dante journey, the coming of age story, all are present. And its ability to syncretize cultures is extraordinary: Keats and Emily Dickinson right in there with Osiris and Robert Johnson and Ibn Batuta."
—H. L. Hix
"The scene at the Driftwood Bar somehow reminded me of the tavern episode in Joyce’s Ulysses. Here and elsewhere there are shifting and interpenetrating planes of perception, memory, imagination, dream, and hallucination. As with Joyce, it all works through the magic of words. The Stone House is a mind-expanding experimental masterwork. It can have a commercial success when available in a less expensive printing. It is already an artistic success."
"The Stone House is a rich folklore fantasy full of striking symbolic events resonating with inner psychic life and meanings. It’s plain mental fun—disturbing, humorous, and vividly entertaining."
—Paul Pierog, nycbigcitylit.com
"For most survivors of childhood sexual abuse, the core of the trauma is memory’s betrayal, it never happened, and with that betrayal comes the collapse of the personality, the sense of self and self-worth. As Suji is told, she must pay her 'father’s tab.' She embarks on a journey with help from spirits, shape shifters, crows, philosophers, and poets from 'The Other Side' to find her own song (her voice), her blues, and a Self she never had. This reader was also transformed by the rich beautifully illustrated art form, portraying Suji’s re-membering."